France’s new Minister of Solidarity has denied accusations of rape against him but has also been cited by police in connection to a case of attempted murder.
Minister Damien Abad, who was appointed as Minister of Solidarity and the Disabled under the new government of French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne earlier this month, has been accused by two women of rape in incidents said to have taken place in 2010 and 2011.
One of the accusers also claimed to have filed a police report against Abad in 2017 but the case was later closed by investigators. Abad has denied the allegations stating, “I contest with the greatest force these accusations of sexual violence,” and added, “The sexual relations that I have had throughout my life have always been by mutual consent,” France24 reports.
Just days after the allegations of rape emerged, a new report claimed that Abad was cited in an attempted murder case and had been wiretapped by police after being mentioned by two bosses, a brother and sister, at a plastics factory who allegedly wanted to hire a hitman to kill an employee.
The alleged plot was discovered in 2020 after two members of France’s Directorate General of External Security (DGSE) intelligence agency, the French equivalent of the CIA or MI6, were arrested after allegedly plotting to murder a woman in front of her home.
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The two DGSE members were allegedly part of a larger cell composed of former intelligence officials and private security agents who were described as “misguided members of a Freemason lodge” who had carried out acts of violence and are believed to be linked to at least one murder.
One of the arrested suspects told investigators of the plot to kill the employee of the plastics factory, who was a trade unionist and had some involvement with the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) movement.
Laurent, the brother allegedly involved in the murder plot, mentioned Abad’s name during conservation stating, “He [Damien Abad] will try to go a little fishing for information and he keeps me informed, and we, we keep him informed as and when.”
Since then, Laurent has been exonerated of involvement but his sister Muriel remains under suspicion of criminal association and currently wears an electronic ankle monitor, according to her lawyer.